Governor Cuomo has two more days to sign Mayor Bloomberg's taxi bill that would put 1,500 more yellow cabs in the city, allow livery cabs to pick up street fares almost everywhere in the city and (in thoery) generate more than $1 billion in revenue. But Cuomo has pushed back against the legislation, countering that it doesn't do enough to provide cabs for the disabled. According to the Daily News, Cuomo spent the weekend devising a plan that he finds acceptable, or the legislature can try their luck in January. "This could be 'Gov. Steamroller again steamrolling on behalf of the yellow cab medallion owners who oppose the bill," one statehouse source said.
On David Paterson's radio show on Friday, Cuomo asserted that his opposition was strictly derived from the fact that the law wouldn't pass muster with the disabled community or the courts. “My counsel believes, David, that if we pass a bill that is along the lines of the current discussion, that it’s going to violate the A.D.A. and it’ll be thrown out anyway." And it's true that the disabled are underserved by taxis: only 232 of the 13,000 taxis in the city can accommodate fares in wheelchairs.
But it's also true that the Governor's father Mario sits on the board of Medallion Financial, and many medallion owners are millionaires who believe that the bill would cut into their competitive advantage.
A spokesperson for the governor said yesterday that Cuomo was coming up with "a fair disabled accessibility plan—and [the Legislature] can choose to either support it or not. If they don’t, they can come back in January and pass their own plan." One of the bill's supporters tells the paper that they're worried Cuomo's plan "will be designed to be unacceptable in order to give him cover for a veto or contain enough poison pills that it will make the program unworkable.”
What else is set to expire this week? The TLC's temporary moratorium on citing livery cabs that pick up street fares outside Manhattan. The reprieve was granted in anticipation of Cuomo signing the bill. But according to the Post, if that doesn't happen, "beefed-up teams of enforcement agents will be out bright and early Thursday morning."